The most Popular Posts of the past seven days.

Jan 20, 2020

50 People Tell Us Which State Would be Their State's "Partner in Crime" | Culturally Speaking...

Who did Alabama Choose?

MLK Day 2020

The U.S. Flag flies at the Church on Dexter Ave. where Dr. King was pastor in Montgomery

MLK Day of Service

In honor of Dr. King’s birthday, HandsOn River Region has planned an afternoon of service on Monday, January 20 to benefit several area agencies. Volunteers will meet at 12 noon at That’s My Child at 2414 Lower Wetumpka Road for a hot dog lunch and then disperse to work from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm with one of the participating organizations. Several of the projects are filling up, so register today at
The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Grand Parade is an annual event that honors Dr. King’s dream for unity, freedom, social and economic equality, and justice.

Line-up for the Grand Parade will begin at 11:00 a.m. at Troy University - Montgomery. All community and civic organizations, churches, daycare centers, fraternities, sororities, dance groups, step teams, cheerleaders, bands, and school organizations are invited to participate. Floats, cars, trucks, motorcycles, and walking groups are welcome.

Hats off to The Montgomery Advertiser for publishing a series of photos from The Alabama Department of Archives and History showing Dr. King's likely last visit to the city before his assassination in April of the same year.

 "Martin Luther King Jr. visits Maggie Street Baptist Church to rally support for the Poor People's Campaign.
Photo by Jim Peppler. Courtesy of the Alabama Department of Archives and History."

Jan 19, 2020

Will The Alabama Air National Guard Go To Space?

Read this comment from Air Force Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

"We have to look at the Army and the Navy, and we have to look at the Guard, because you actually can't do the the space mission without the National Guard. The National Guard is a perfect partner for the space mission — much more perfect than many other missions that we have the Guard do."

"An Air Force memo obtained by CNN in April 2019, which the Air Force called an "early draft," named four potential locations in Colorado, one in Alabama, and one in California."


Alabama already have a rich heritage with the Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville.  

The U.S. Space Force certainly has a website.

CNN's MLK Tour sites in Montgomery

CNN itemizes places to visit this Martin Luther King Holiday.
"It's difficult to overstate the impact of King's time in the segregated capital of Alabama during the mid-1950s. His coordination of the long bus strike after Rosa Parks famously refused to yield her seat put him on the national and international map.
Today, Montgomery has numerous must-see civil rights attractions, including The National Memorial for Peace and Justice (opened in 2018) and the Rosa Parks Museum at Troy University."
SEE the full CNN Story HERE.

MORE About Montgomery events on Monday HERE.

MEDIA: Who is he?

Can you name this person?

As a Washington Post columnist reported, three educated people competing on  Jeopardy couldn't:

A librarian, a tutor and an English professor, they all looked baffled as they failed to come up with his name.

Media columnist Margaret Sullivan's point was twofold: one, people are not following the Donald John Trump Impeachment story, and two, the media is doing a terrible job by equating a president's trial and a political argument between two democratic candidates.

“This is . . . like if Watergate burglars gave [an] interview to Walter Cronkite in Jan 1974 and detailed the Nixon criminal enterprise,” tweeted the journalist and author Eric Boehlert about Maddow’s interview with Lev Parnas, the Soviet-born businessman who played a key role in the pressure campaign.
It was a much, much bigger deal than the Warren-Sanders dust-up.

     But to the eyeball attracting media, the "fight" between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders got equal play.

Oh, it's Adam Schiff, by the way, the Democratic California congressman who is impeachment manager in the U.S. House.


Ahead of MLK Day: A Graetz Update

    I have been blessed by the Graetz family in Montgomery, for they have treated me as a member of their wonderful, big family for over two decades.
    Rev. Robert Graetz has been dealing with health issues for over a year...and Mrs. Jeannie Graetz has, of course, been at his side. She has also continued to be active in a wide variety of Civil Rights activities, including meeting with state department sponsored visitors who come to learn about the U.S. Civil Rights movement, and what happened in Montgomery.
    This photo was taken just before the holidays as she guided him around the neighborhood. Many of the Graetz' children were able to be with them.
     Rev. Graetz book, "A White Preacher’s Message on Race and Reconciliation: Based on His Experiences Beginning with the Montgomery Bus Boycott" is available at New South Books and elsewhere.

Jan 18, 2020

Grammar is Dead. Long Live Grammar

 Headline from

What will NASA's Mars 2020 rover be called? There's 155 names on the shortlist.


It appears there won't be any English spoken if people ever live on Mars. At least not English using proper grammar.

 There's is short for There IS.  So is saying there is 155 names on the shortlist?


Maybe the martian language doesn't have agreement between verb and object?

Maybe the folks at need to talk with the people at

Ssssenate Ssssilence

When the U.S. Senate hears the charges against Donald John Trump, they will have to do so without checking for his tweets every five minutes.

The Senators will be in the chamber without electronic devices. At least one Senator says it will be refreshing. From a CNN story:

Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, praised the ban on phones as "beautifully old fashion."
"I'm glad that we can put these devices down, I'm glad we will be sitting in our chairs, I'm glad that we are going to be focused on what's in front of us at that time. I think it's important, it's beautifully old fashion, and I think we should stick to it," she said.

History. Gone. (UPDATED)

From The New York Times:
"WASHINGTON — The Trump administration moved on Friday to roll back school nutrition standards championed by Michelle Obama, an effort long sought by food manufacturers and some school districts that have chafed at the cost of Mrs. Obama’s prescriptions for fresh fruit and vegetables.
The proposed rule by the Agriculture Department, coming on the former first lady’s birthday, would give schools more latitude to decide how much fruit to offer during breakfast and what types of vegetables to include in meals. It would also broaden what counts as a snack."

     If the eventual Democratic nominee is elected in November, will that President follow the Trump path and try to erase any visible evidence that there even was a Trump presidency, including anything accomplished by the first Lady (Think "Be Best")?

And speaking of History. Gone.

The U.S. Archives erased the some words in signs critical of The Trump Administration that were carried by protestors during the 2017 women's march on Washington. 

From The Washington Post story:

The Archives acknowledged in a statement this week that it made multiple alterations to the photo of the 2017 Women’s March showcased at the museum, blurring signs held by marchers that were critical of Trump. Words on signs that referenced women’s anatomy were also blurred.
In the original version of the 2017 photograph, taken by Getty Images photographer Mario Tama, the street is packed with marchers carrying a variety of signs, with the Capitol in the background. In the Archives version, at least four of those signs are altered.
A placard that proclaims “God Hates Trump” has “Trump” blotted out so that it reads “God Hates.” A sign that reads “Trump & GOP — Hands Off Women” has the word Trump blurred out.

UPDATE Saturday 1-18-2020

Washington (CNN)The National Archives on Saturday apologized and said it removed from display a 2017 photograph of the Women's March it had altered to censor signs referencing women's anatomy and President Donald Trump's name.
"We made a mistake," the National Archives said on Twitter, acknowledging that it had obscured some words from protest signs seen in the image. The Archives said it will replace it with an unaltered image "as soon as possible."


Jan 17, 2020

Uh, Really?

Trump warns Iranian supreme leader who called him a 'clown' to be 'very careful with his words'






This from the master of saying whatever comes to him whenever it comes to him?

I'm sure Ali Khamenei is being very careful.


Speaking of rankings....

Alabama ranks in the bottom ten of states when it comes to the number of doctors per capita.

Alabama was 43rd among states, with 217.1 per 100,000 people.

The best and worst?
Massachusetts had the highest number of active physicians per 100,000 population in 2018 (449.5), while Mississippi had the least (191.3).

HERE's the full report.

What does this map represent? With Alabama in the 30%+ catagory?

Map details in table below

It shows Alabamians are the least active people in America.

It comes from the CDC, by the way, and you can their all of their data HERE

That ties in with Alabama's obesity problem. Less exercise, more pounds.

Ahead of MLK Day: A Rep. John Lewis origin story

     On NPR's Morning Edition this morning, a StoryCorps segment with Alabama native Rep. John Lewis, told the story of his first meeting with Martin Luther King.
     He was 15 when Rosa Parks was arrested. Two years later, he wrote to Rev. King. 
"Not only did King write back to Lewis, he also included in the letter a round-trip bus ticket to Montgomery and an invitation to meet him, which Lewis eventually did — in March 1958.

At 18, Lewis traveled 50 miles from Troy to Montgomery by Greyhound. Fred Gray, the lawyer to King and Rosa Parks, picked him up from the bus station and drove him to the city's First Baptist Church — a historic site tied to the civil rights movement — where he met King in the pastor's office.
"I was so scared. I didn't know what to say or what to do," Lewis recalled. "And Dr. King said, 'Are you the boy from Troy?'
"And I said, 'Dr. King, I am John Robert Lewis.' I gave my whole name. But he still called me the 'boy from Troy,' " he said." (From the StoryCorps interview with Lewis)

Jan 16, 2020

Shelby on GAO Trump Report

     The White House budget office violated the law when it froze U.S. military aid to Ukraine, the Government Accountability Office concluded in a new report. (Politico)

“I wouldn’t think that a GAO opinion, per se, would change anything,” said Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). “But we’ll listen to it, we’ll look at it and we’ll evaluate it.“
I don’t think they should be deciding who broke the law,” he added.

Jan 15, 2020

AARP: Montgomery is one of the best places to visit in 2020!

#6 out of 20. Not bad. 

Here's the "why" Montgomery is on the list, according to AARP:

There’s a new lady in town. She may be bronze, but she sure leaves a lasting impression. In December 2019, the city of Montgomery unveiled a statue of Rosa Parks, marking the 64th anniversary of her arrest. In 2020, venture to this to see the brand-new statue that honors Park’s brave actions. While you’re here, visit the powerful National Memorial for Peace and Justice. And don’t miss the Freedom Rides Museum, among many other local Civil Rights Movement sites.

Ten Years Ago

     It was a decade ago today that a bingo operation opened in Dothan...then the state shut Country Crossing down and sent developer/operator Ronnie Gilley to prison for more than seven years.


     NPR's Morning Edition today included a report on Democratic Alabama U.S. Senator Doug Jones, and how the impeachment vote is hurting his reelection chances. 

And also on the same show this morning, I was drawn in by the song Jesse by Janis Ian.  I'd not heard it for many years, and had forgotten how good it was! Here's the story online, including the song itself.
(P.S. I met Janice Ian once in New York City when she held a book signing at a bookstore where I worked.)

Long Off Connection

     When my Father was a New York City police officer he took criminal justice courses at the John Jay College, so I paid more attention than usual when a story about student from there visiting Selma on a Civil Rights trip. 
     I'm confident the number of civil rights tourists coming to Alabama has increased sharply, partly because of the EJI museum and memorial. 


The "9" photo exhibit is still open...

Here's a short video about the exhibit at the Armory Learning Arts Center on Madison Avenue in Montgomery, courtesy of Bob Corley, one the "9" photographers who organized the event.

It includes the fine art work of 11 Montgomery area photographers.

The exhibit is open through  1-29-2020

F35 Changes

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The computer-based logistics system of the F-35 stealth fighter jet made by Lockheed Martin (LMT.N), which has been plagued by delays, will be replaced by another network made by the same company, a Pentagon official said on Tuesday."

     The Alabama Air National Guard is scheduled to receive a squadron of  the fighter jets in 2023. The F-16 currently at Dannelly Field will be reassigned to other guard units.